I was long overdue for a blog post, so thank you, Nikki McCormack, for tagging me for the Pacific Northwest Blog Hop! I met Nikki in 2012 at the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference and she recently published an edgy YA steampunk novel, The Girl and the Clockwork Cat. You can find out more about her book at Entangled Publishing and you can check out her blog at NikkiMcCormack.com.
Some of you know I live on the fringe, so you probably won’t be surprised to hear this hop has come to the end of one of the blogosphere’s roads. There are a number of reasons I haven’t been able to find anyone to tag, but I’m okay with it because I’m an introvert and life as a single parent hasn’t given me many opportunities to find like-minded people. When I do, I find out that they don’t write or blog or they live somewhere else.
Some people say maintaining a blog while you’re writing a book is crazy, but I think it’s a great way for people to get to know us better, even if we aren’t posting regularly. The hop asks us to answer four questions.
1) What am I working on?
When I first started blogging, I was also just beginning to develop my memoir and I didn’t have stories to share that could demonstrate what I’ve been experiencing since 1998, so I just blogged about life and my views from my feminist perspectives.
Then, in the spring of 2014, a couple of remarkable events occurred that enabled me to share some of what I am experiencing (Lone Pine: Two Feminists’ Take On Spiritual Experiences and Experiencing Fear, Having Two Spot on Special Friends Appear), but I knew I needed to do more. I began to hear that writers needed to develop an e-mail list and the best way to do that was to offer a give-away, but I wasn’t sure how to go about doing that. I’d been reading about contemporary spirituality and participating in spiritual communities and, in July 2014, a conversation led me to information that helped me find a way to explain the differences between my experiences and what is being shared there.
So I have been working on a mini-book that has a working title of “Critical Revelations Focusing on Contemporary Spirituality” and I hope to have it available soon. It will be free via my blog and I also plan to self-publish it on KDP. When that’s done I’ll get back to doing some fine tuning on my memoir and resuming my search for an agent.
2) How does my work differ from others in its genre?
From what I can see, most of the people who are writing about spirituality are focused on how to improve spiritually. They share things to do, like new meditation techniques; best practices, like forgiveness and gratitude; and laws people should either understand or follow, like the Law of Attraction and the power of now, but I have never done anything to generate my spiritual experiences and they haven’t made me feel any more spiritual, I simply feel compelled to tell the stories because I never dreamed these kinds of things could happen to anyone. I also don’t fit the typical image of a spiritual person, so I have developed some unique perspectives.
I know people are skeptical about what I am sharing, so I was incredibly excited when I made the remarkable discoveries in July. The events that occurred that enabled me to make those discoveries have given me yet another story that shows what is happening in my life. I felt like I was being directed to the information and I am going to be able to share it soon, but here’s a little info.
For months I had questions about some of the popular spiritual concepts that are held by almost everyone, then a brief conversation led me to pursue the answer to a question, but I actually found answers to questions that were completely different—the ones I had about contemporary spirituality. I believe the discoveries and what I relay from my experiences will change the way many people view a number of the current spiritual concepts.
I grew up believing that God was distant, certainly not active in our lives. But since 1998, I have experienced a series of events that have shown me that God is active in many people’s lives. As I worked on my memoir, I was also able to see that God was there for me prior to 1998, but I just didn’t know what to look for. The event in 1998 was different from a coincidence or a serendipitous event. It changed my life. And I haven’t just experienced one event, my life has become an on-going story with utterly mind-blowing events occurring at times. All of the events are gifts, but they vary dramatically. I can hold some of them in my hand; some have affected my kids; some are remarkable stories; and I’ve also had information come to me that has answered questions that were deeply important to me. As I mentioned above, “Critical Revelations Focusing on Contemporary Spirituality” does this and I share examples of the other kinds of experiences in the list of links below and in my memoir (which is yet to be published), which tells about my life-long spiritual journey and the three events that have given me absolute faith that God exists, that what I am experiencing is not just happening by luck or chance.
4) How does my writing process work?
Since most of my writing is memoir, I spend a lot of time looking backwards. After some sort of remarkable or unusual event occurs, I write a rough draft, then I edit to clarify, which usually happens over a couple of days, weeks or months, depending on the project. That allows my mind to process the information to see if I can find deeper connections.
I’m a pantser; I don’t generate outlines. My rough draft always seems like one anyway, since I’m following chronological events that have already occurred. When I was developing “Critical Revelations Focusing on Contemporary Spirituality,” I generated content on both sides of the event, but I had a starting point that wasn’t hard to define (typical thoughts someone has when they first learn about current spiritual concepts) and a clear endpoint (what I learned and what I believe). The experience involved going to the library to get a collection of books so that drove a lot of the content, but it also includes some information I’ve gathered over the years. I’ve started to say that I follow thoughts, but I should probably clarify that by saying, “I follow thoughts that impact me—startling, confusing or surprising me—not just thoughts about things like the color of the trees or what I’m eating.” At least not yet.
Thank you for stopping by! I hope you’ll check out a few of the posts listed below.
Oh yeah, on the title, I keep switching back and forth between “focused on” and “focusing on.” Any thoughts would be appreciated!